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Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz in Conversation With Reece Jones
November 3 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pmFree
Whether in political debates or discussions about immigration around the kitchen table, many Americans, regardless of party affiliation, will say proudly that we are a nation of immigrants. In her bold new book, Not “A Nation of Immigrants” (Beacon), historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz asserts this ideology is harmful and dishonest because it serves to mask and diminish the U.S.’s history of settler colonialism, genocide, white supremacy, slavery, and structural inequality, all of which we still grapple with today. She explains that the idea that we are living in a land of opportunity — founded and built by immigrants — was a convenient response by the ruling class and its brain trust to the 1960s demands for decolonialization, justice, reparations, and social equality. Moreover, Dunbar-Ortiz charges that this feel good — but inaccurate — story promotes a benign narrative of progress, obscuring that the country was founded in violence as a settler state, and imperialist since its inception. This paradigm shifting new book from the acclaimed author of An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States charges that we need to stop believing and perpetuating this simplistic and ahistorical idea and embrace the real (and often horrific) history of the United States. Dunbar-Ortiz will be joined in conversation by Reece Jones, author of White Borders: The History of Race and Immigration in the United States From Chinese Exclusion to the Border Wall.